Should Online Musical File Sharing Be Regulated? Essay

2002 Words9 Pages
ENG 1102 05/12/06 Nowadays, over 75 percent of the teenagers have already engaged in online file sharing in the U.S. (“The Digital” 101). Various types of files can be shared, such as music mp3 file, films, movies, TV shows, dramas, or copyrighted software. Online file sharing requires using peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, which means individual users connect to each other directly, without a computer as a central server. Each website may have its own system and software. When the users install the software and log on to the network, their computers not only retrieve information but also act as a server to other computers. For example, John and Mary both download the same file sharing software and install onto their computers. If John uses the network to search for a file that he is looking for, and finds Mary has the file on her computer, then John can download the file directly from Mary. Downloading or sharing files at home are made easy by just turning on the computer, installing software, and logging on to the network. However, online file sharing is a controversial issue because some people argue this new technology violates copyright law, and think it should be regulated, but support online file sharing, and think it should be legalized. A popular P2P network called Napster began in 1999. It was a popular service that provided a way to download a lot of free music. However, Napster and its users did not have the permission to share many of the songs. Therefore, many songwriters, musicians, and recording companies took the legal action on Napster by violating federal copyright law. They sued claiming that Napster encouraged an illegal way to share files by distributing the file sharing software and by running a central server with a directory of songs that users could use to look for songs on its network (Marzilli 49). Even though Napster denied getting

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